Josh Beckett's streak of four straight no-decisions this year was snapped on Friday and he pitched into the seventh inning. But the Dodgers had simply nothing on offense to back him up, and the Marlins held on for a 6-3 victory in the series opener on Friday night in Miami.
One day after pounding out 44 hits, drawing 18 walks and scoring 13 runs in a doubleheader sweep in Minnesota, the Dodgers were completely flummoxed by Tom Koehler, who allowed six runners to reach base in his seven shutout innings.
The first inning started the same way for both teams. Both leadoff men reached base, Dee Gordon with an infield hit and Christian Yelich with a walk. Then, both men were caught stealing. For Gordon, he was originally called safe but the call was overturned by instant replay challenge, the second time in 17 stolen base attempts this year he has been caught. For Yelich, it was the first caught stealing of his brief career, after 14 successful steals.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia was a thorn in Beckett's side, first with a fly ball down the right field line that carried over the fence in the second inning, the catcher's sixth home run of the season.
In the fourth inning Saltalamacchia singled with two outs, then on a double by Garrett Jones scampered home to the surprise of everybody. Hanley Ramirez fielded the throw from Yasiel Puig in right field, but was far too slow to react in time for his throw home to get the runner.
Jones hit three doubles in three at-bats against Beckett, and in his career against the Dodgers has hit .316/.395/.643 with 14 doubles, six home runs and 24 RBI in 33 games. Against everyone else, Jones is hitting .253/.313/.451.
Beckett trailed 2-0 into the seventh and, with Jones on second, was one out away from keeping the game close. But a pinch single by old friend Reed Johnson brought home Jones for a 3-0 Marlins lead and chased Beckett after a season-high 113 pitches.
The Marlins then cashed in three more runs as the Dodgers simply couldn't get out of their own way. A Yelich triple was followed by a hit by pitch, a ground ball that Hanley Ramirez couldn't field at shortstop, a fly ball single to right, and a walk. Once the carnage was done, the Marlins were up 6-0.
The Dodgers rallied for two runs in the eighth inning against Carlos Marmol and another tally off Steve Cishek in the ninth, but it was too little, too late.
Paul Maholm gets the start for the Dodgers in the middle game of the series on Saturday evening (4:10 p.m. PT start). Jacob Turner will be activated from the disabled list to start for Miami.
Home run: Jarrod Saltalamacchia (6)
WP - Tom Koehler (3-2): 7 IP, 3 hits, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts
LP - Josh Beckett (0-1): 6⅔ IP, 8 hits, 4 runs, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts